ICA Miami owns a few, and M.F.A. Boston and others are selling them to reach new audiences “in a world where Instagram and Siri are prevalent.”
Other museums are also acquiring NFTs.
Others, like the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy, and the British Museum, are minting and selling them from works in their collections. And artists are being encouraged in their efforts to produce digital art.
But even as museums dabble in NFTs, the market for them, and for the cryptocurrencies that they are traded in, has plummeted. Trading volumes are down 97 percent from peaks reached in January. In the latest sign of the market’s distress, the FTX cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, inflicting billions of dollars in losses on its clients and investors.
So why is ICA Miami collecting NFTs?
“Our collection, as well as our exhibitions and programs, seek to take on some of the most pressing and topical art and ideas that are happening today,” said Alex Gartenfeld, ICA Miami’s artistic director. “Over the last two or three years, one of the most ubiquitous and transformative conversations has been around how artists explore and develop their creativity through NFTs.”
He said that digital art had a long history and that, while it found itself now “at the center of the marketplace” and public attention, it was not that way for the preceding three decades. In any event, he added, museums are not concerned with the value of their art collections so “the groupthink is fairly irrelevant to the work that we’re doing.”
While museums such as ICA Miami are acquiring NFTs for their collections, others are selling NFTs derived from their collections.
- Digital copies of masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were sold by Italian cultural institutions, including the Uffizi Galleries, until the government put an end to the practice earlier this year.
- The British Museum put NFTs of 200 works by Hokusai on sale last year and is now offering an NFT series based on Turner paintings, in collaboration with the French NFT platform LaCollection.io.
(Read further on NYTIMES)